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The Surprising Ways Menopause Can Affect Your Brain and How to Cope

Brain fog is one major symptom of menopause that many women experience

Surprising Ways Menopause Can Affect Your Brain
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It's important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.

Women start going into perimenopause at different stages in their lives. Also called the menopausal transition, perimenopause means "around menopause." According to Mayo Clinic, this refers to the period in which a woman's body goes through the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of their reproductive years.

For most women, symptoms of menopause start sometime in their forties. But some women experience the changes happen as early as in their mid-thirties. This transition period usually happens for around four years, although not all cases are the same. While four years is a typical average, some women may experience perimenopause within only a couple of months, while for some, it may last for more than four years.

But how will you know that you're no longer in perimenopause? A clear indication is your period. If you go more than 12 months without getting it, then that could be a sign you're no longer in perimenopause and have reached the stage of menopause.

Aside from irregular periods, there are several other symptoms linked to perimenopause. These signs can include hot flashes, vaginal and bladder issues, decreased fertility, and even changes in cholesterol levels. However, there is another major symptom many women in their perimenopausal and menopausal years experience but is not often talked about — brain fog.

What Menopause Does to Your Brain

When women go through menopause, often, the brain is also affected. Lisa Mosconi, a director at Weill Cornell Medicine, says it's estrogen that is at fault. Estrogen, a hormone that plays a significant role in a woman's reproductive health, is said to dramatically decrease during perimenopause. Mosconi says, "Estrogen is a neuroprotective hormone. When it declines, the brain is left more vulnerable." In fact, brain function and estrogen are so closely linked that the risk of Alzheimer's also increases in perimenopausal women who are predisposed to the condition.

"Menopause is more like a trigger than a cause," Mosconi adds. "And not just for Alzheimer's, but for cognitive fog in general." As your hormone levels fluctuate starting from your perimenopausal years, many functions in a woman's body are affected, including the brain.

Here are other effects menopause can have on brain function:

You might start forgetting things

Many women report experiencing memory issues during their perimenopausal years. It can range from forgetting everyday words to not recalling a specific part of a conversation you had with someone. It could be frustrating, or perhaps even worrying, but it's important to remember that this is only happening because your body is producing lesser amounts of estrogen. It will eventually pass.

Your cognitive function might feel a little rusty

On top of memory lapses, a perimenopausal woman may also experience issues in cognitive function, such as slower responses and difficulty in concentrating. Lisa Mosconi explains, "Every woman knows that as you reach menopause, your hair goes dry, your skin goes dry—that's aging," she says. "Few people are aware that the same thing would happen in the brain. Our brain cells start aging faster." So if you've been feeling like your brain isn't working as sharply as it used to and you're in your perimenopausal years, your hormones could be the reason.

Your brain's biochemical activity might get disrupted

With all the changes happening in your body due to perimenopause and its effect of decreased estrogen levels, a disruption in your body and brain's biochemical activities can happen, affecting overall mood and even mental state. This can result in bad temperament, mood swings, and even anxiety and depression. All these can be caused by your fluctuating hormones.

What Can I Do to Cope With the Symptoms of Menopause?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to cope with perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Mayo Clinic suggests a couple of things you can do:

  1. Exercise. Staying active is an effective way to prevent weight gain (which women are prone to during menopause), improve sleep, and elevate the mood.
  2. Eat healthy. Because your body is going through many changes, you'll need nutritional support from healthy foods. Avoid caffeine and alcohol — both can trigger hot flashes.
  3. Ease vaginal discomfort. It's important to stay sexually active even through this period. If you're experiencing dryness and discomfort, you can use over-the-counter lubricants and moisturizers. But make sure they are water-based and don't contain glycerin, which can cause irritation.
  4. Keep your stress levels down. Stress can trigger hot flashes and make your symptoms feel worse, so managing your stress is beneficial. Try yoga, meditation, or simply make sure that you get good sleep every night.

On top of lifestyle changes, there are supplements you can turn to to help ease your transition to menopause. MenoLabs, for example, is a brand that's dedicated to helping women through their journey from perimenopause to menopause. They are manufactured in FDA-certified facilities, and their products are formulated by doctors using only high-quality, safe, and all-natural ingredients.

Surprising Ways Menopause Can Affect Your Brain
Fit & Happy MenoLabs

One of their best-selling products is this bundle that offers the combined power of fiber and probiotics. Called Fit & Happy, this product is meant to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats and aids in improving your mood, gut health through probiotics, and metabolism. It also helps you develop a healthy weight through fiber.

Surprising Ways Menopause Can Affect Your Brain
Happy Fiber MenoLabs

As estrogen levels in your body fluctuate, your microbiomes can get disrupted. You can help maintain a healthy balance in your gut with the right kinds of prebiotic fibers that MenoLab's Happy Fiber daily supplement can provide. This formulation is made of three types of balance-restoring fibers and L-Tyrosine that helps boost the mood.

Surprising Ways Menopause Can Affect Your Brain
MenoFit MenoLabs

The hormonal changes caused by perimenopause and menopause can cause weight gain in women. If this is the case for you and want some help in this department, this menopause probiotic supplement called MenoFit can aid in boosting your metabolism, supporting gut health, and maintaining a healthy weight. It also helps increase libido.

Perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms like minor memory problems, mood swings, and difficulty focusing are all normal. It can get frustrating, but it's important to remember that this phase is temporary. It will eventually pass and allow you to start feeling more like yourself again. Until then, simple lifestyle changes at home and daily supplements targeted to help ease menopause can provide you some relief.

Don't let the symptoms of menopause bring you down. Get through this journey with ease with the help of these daily supplements from MenoLabs. Get them here.

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